According to a study conducted by Roche Diabetes Care France *, 43% of people studying to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are divided between feelings of fear, sadness, injustice, misunderstanding, and confusion when experiencing the message of the disease.
And there is something when we know what is waiting for us! Usually, it's a long road, up the mountain that starts. Of course, all diabetics are not the same and it would be a mistake to make generalizations, but only a minority can boast to follow the letter to the letter medical recommendations which, as in the message, separate their daily lives. "Perfection does not exist," my new doctor told me in the last consultation. That's good, I'm far from the sugar model.
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Pasta plate at 16h, constant thirst, urgent desires
My diabetes was discovered at the age of 14 years. I have 32 today. At the same time It has been months that I lose considerable weight while another "I gave myself", Like these many times when returning from the classes I put a good pasta dish with butter. At four in the afternoon … of course, like any diabetic who does not know I drink a liter of water Day and night and the toilet is my second home, but I do not know that these are the symptoms of the disease. The house is big, no one hears me get up at night to do my little things. "She does not eat enough dairy products and meat because of that she loses weight," said the pediatrician who follows me to my mother. Either way. Meanwhile, everyone starts to wonder if I'm not becoming anorexic, although I regularly send shells in the afternoon!
August 1999: Il Olron. My parents, brother and I live in a convoy of about 10 m. Excessive help, my mother, a sister, discovers my impulses Lilith. She begins to worry seriously and then suspects diabetes. Direction of the analysis lab. outcome: Presence of sugar and acetone in urine. Doubt is no longer allowed. A local doctor tells my parents that it's not a big deal, because I just have to get pills. It is clear that this man did not have enough of this subject during his medical studies.
In a state of emergency, because close to a diabetic coma with blood glucose, which explodes at all counters – around 6 grams of glucose per liter of blood if I remember correctly – I find myself in the pediatric ward not really "detained" on the subject. What leave me unforgettable memories of the holidays.
The shock of the message
"You have to give yourself a bite all your life to survive." That's what I was told then, at the hospital. I remember melting in tears. And then everything is connected: I was told what the disease was, that I would have to give myself insulin injections and blood glucose tests every day and several times, that I should pay attention to it. That I'm eating, that I can not drink a glass of syrup when she sings to me. It was during the week of hospitalization that I discovered who would be my best friend for life: Coca-Cola Light. Thank you, at least I can attend pots or birthdays without "farting" my sugar.
Then came my time First hypoglycemia. Sweating, tachycardia, fog in front of my eyes… I do not really understand what happens to me even though you briefed me about it in the workshops. I become a Gramlin and get angry with the nurse. It is normal this one "signs". My mother and friend can testify, they will become my favorite "hypo sufferers" in the years to come. Since then I've made thousands and it's never very pleasant.
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Daily self-management is difficult to accept
At the weekend, I get the bites alone alone as a big (situation No sinus Leave the hospital). I'm starting a new life. Every six months I have to consult a diabetologist Try to find together the treatment kit that suits me. It's complicated at this age to have such a disease, especially since it is not always understood and surrounded by a bunch of prejudices ("Oh, but you're diabetic because you ate too much candy?" … No. I often find myself on the verge of discomfort, when in hypoglycemia I do not dare to ask to leave the classroom or eat sugar in a full course for fear that I will "face" my whole class by some of my teachers too stupid to realize how essential .
Then the years go by and there's the tragedy (I remind you that I'm in full adolescence): I'm starting to fill my glycemic monitoring. I do "lie" for a diabetologist just to make him happy. I inject doses randomly, with a small preference for 16 units and will know why, I do not know … I get bigger clearly and I'm getting worse in my skin. lighting! What if I stop giving my shots? There is no insulin = no storage of fat and sugars will be trunked by urine! Diabetic women reading me, you know very well what I want to talk about. While I'm there I do not do my blood sugar tests. Away from the eyes … I tell myself, stupidly, that I may not have diabetes, and one will find that I do not need more treatment. I am stronger than this disease, I will fight it. Myself heal me. I'm going in A stage of denial and total rejection.
Gravissime error. This sudden stop is worth two hospitalizations Ketosis ; Which makes my legs so tight that I find myself nailed to the ground in the street one evening; The second is that I vomit uninterrupted one morning and I have to call the firemen because I risk a coma. At this point in the story, you are probably wondering "But what is his parents not worthy of?" I hide everything from them, of course. They always supported me at this event and are as affected as I am, but after all it's my disease, it's necessary because I take it only the maximum. We can not bear this burden on those around us. Especially when one is about to enter adulthood.
These two admissions and the 14% glycated hemoglobin do not make me immediately aware of the dangers my behavior represents, but in the years that followed I try to respect my treatment as best I can. There are ups and downs. I drive myself a few months and then I start not to do any more tests but I still do my shots. In 2013 I experienced a particularly difficult experience, which is linked to diabetes in some way. So I have a click: I can not do anything more because I do not want to relive a similar situation. I improve management.
Diabetes, lifelong mental baggage
New technologies help me a lot. Today I have FreestyleLibre control my blood glucose (farewell lancers who shoot at hand) and Insulin pump, omnipod. I've always refused to wear one, as I never say! These devices will help diabetics of tomorrow manage better and get the disease more easily … I think I was not so lucky twenty years ago. I also apply the principles of functional insulin therapy (ie, adjusting the insulin dose to the number of carbohydrates consumed at each meal). A good way to balance your diabetes without depriving yourself of something When years were back, the discourse on food was much less flexible.
Of course, not everything is pink every day, I'm often tiredEspecially when I have hypoglycaemia at night, I find it difficult to devote as much time to my illness as I need, I fear possible complications … I do not think I can really get this day. It's always unfair to get sick, and for me diabetes has taken part in the freedom I can not get. A few days ago I was reading a blog post written by a diabetic who talked about the "mental burden of diabetes". She's right, he's always there in the corner of our head, remembering a lot of things to do.
Of course, it's all a matter of personality and everyone runs their way. Some do not talk about it and take care of themselves in their own area, others devote a YouTube channel or Instagram to encourage others (and motivate themselves too, no doubt). It is up to us to choose how we want to take over ourselves (or not). Some accept it, others do not. But in the end we have no choice: it's fun or finished choppy, blind or dead. It's violent I know, but we can not hide our faces. Despite advances in research, diabetes is still a disease that can not be cured.
* "Diabetes: Towards a Growing Patient", in collaboration with Harris Interactive, November 2018.